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A look at Publishers’ reaction to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Instant Articles?


It’s been about 10 months since Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) initially opened the door for publishers to post articles directly on its platform under what it calls Instant Articles offering. What are the reactions from publishers  about their experiences with Instant Articles?

Who’s happy?

A number of large publishers are already posting their stories directly on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Instant Articles. They include Washington Post, BuzzFeed and Vox. While not every large publisher is willing to share their experiences with Instant Articles, these three are impressed.

Faster loading

Vox and BuzzFeed cite that Facebook’s Instant Articles is enabling them to improve reader experience because articles on the platform load almost 10 times faster than normal. The two publishers plan to make more of their content available through Instant Articles.

Sharing and unique visitors

Vox and BuzzFeed have also seen a spike in how fast their content is shared on Facebook since they started publishing on Instant Articles. Additionally, the two publishers have seen an increase in unique visitors thanks to Instant Articles.

Call for format improvement

Nevertheless, Vox and BuzzFeed aren’t getting everything they need from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Instant Articles. For example, Vox says that Instant Articles doesn’t current have support for its “cards” format. As such, the publisher is not able to take full advantage of the service.

The other limitation that BuzzFeed and Vox are facing on Instant Articles is that they generate the bulk of their stories through sponsored content.

Technology is okay

Other than the lack of certain format support, Instant Articles publishers have no issue with the technology of the service.

Monetization

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) gives publishers the choice on how they want to make money from their Instant Articles. If they run their own ads, they keep 100% of the revenue. If Facebook serves ads against Instant Articles, it shares revenue with the publishers whereby it keeps 30% and gives away 70%.

Critics change tune

Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker, was initially a critic of Facebook’s Instant Article service. It seemed to him like publishers were being lured to give too much control of their content to the social media company. But today, Denton speaks a different language. It seems to him like Instant Articles is the greatest thing that has happened to publishers in the modern time.

Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta has been in the financial space for over six years now. Gupta earned her MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning in 2009 and her passion for finance led her to pursue Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. She has successfully completed Level II of her CFA. She is a veteran in article writing, which is depicted in her numerous pieces published on SeekingAlpha, Nextiphonenews, InsiderMonkey, MarketWatch, and Techinsider. Her crisp and eloquent writing finds its best place in Researchcows, where emphasis is given on developing rich content for various websites, products, business plans, trainings, and book writing.

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